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Minnesota's First Vermouth
Summer Drive-In: Wagner’s
By: Stephanie March | Posted: 04/11/2014
I don’t know about you, but I have already started casing my yard (and my neighbor’s yard) for any shred of evidence that I might again possibly win the mushroom Powerball this spring. I am a mycophagist. There, I said it. I’m not ashamed. If you ask me over for spring cocktails on your patio, I might scope out your digs and see if you could be sporting some morels (and not even know it). Of course, that’s life out here in the Boondocks. But if you’re thinking you might want to join the ranks of those who know how to forage for tasty mushrooms, you will need some schooling, so it might behoove you to sidle up to Mushroom Mike and learn what he knows. The good news is, starting in May, you can sign up for some guided wild mushroom hunts that include half-day trips, overnight adventures, and forages followed by mushroom feasts at local restaurants. His next class on how to find morels is April 26, go find your wellies and get ready.
Chef Shack Bay City is open!! Head down to the little cute outpost for weekend dinners or brunch. Call before you go for dinner to get a table, the ladies have told me that there is some serious cooking going on. Worth the drive? White borscht with pork shoulder, potatoes and raclette with duck bacon, braised beef cheeks with bacon lentil ragu? Do you really need to ask?
What? Did you hear that? It’s the sound of a catfish po’boy whispering your name. Follow your instinct, tell your truth, we’re all going to make it because Sea Salt is open at 11 a.m.
Also? Conny’s Creamy Cone is definitely open. Get there.
Town Hall Brewery has been reopened (in case you missed one of the many sneak peeks) after a bit of a fluffing: there’s a new view into the brewery, better seating, new tap lines, a righteous selection of cask beers, and that new bar smell. Come back the week of April 14 for its annual Barrel Aged Week, with beers aged in whiskey barrels for the best of both worlds.
The first rule of Taco Cat is you don’t talk about Taco Cat.
Are you exploring your relationship with gluten? Do you need some counseling? Maybe just a snack to make you feel better? At Lakewinds Co-op this weekend, you can explore a potentially GF life at the Gluten Free Round-Up sampling event. Not only will there be oodles and oodles of samples and celiac resources, there will be miniature horses (and we all know that miniature horses make you feel safe).
Another reason to put the top down and plan a spring excursion: local wine and cheese. Next weekend, Alexis Bailly Vineyard is hosting a spring wine pairing with regional cheeses. Try a little Rose Noir with Roth Kase Buttermilk Blue, the Seyval Blanc with Marieke Burning Nettle Gouda, or some Solaris brandy wine with a bit of Valrhona chocolate (because we’ll allow France in our region any time).
The final indoor market at Mill City is on Saturday.
Heads up . . . If you haven’t been to Chuck Kanski’s Annual Rose Tent Tasting, you’ll definitely want to get there this year on May 18, from 2-5 p.m. In its sixth year, this event has become one of the best wine events of the spring. Under a big tent by the Solo Vino shop, Kanski pulls out hundreds of rose wines plus 30 other great libations for you to sip and swirl. It’s basically the kick-off to summer drinking, chums. But get your tickets early, this event sells out and then you’ll have to live with all the insty photos of your friends having a swell time while they get Kanski-ed (yes, it’s a verb, and it hurts in the morning).
Stephanie March is Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s food and dining editor. See bio
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